Another funny but also insightful story from Samaipata:
During our time there we met an interesting person from Germany. She was a transgender that has been living in Bolivia for a year and a bit now. She didn’t really have an easy time there. Learning Spanish is not her strength I guess, and immigration’s have been harder than expected. But proud she told us that the energy from El Fuerte would help her out and that’s why she stayed here. Probably also because there are so many travelers all the time. :-)
One thing that she said made me think about a specific topic from a completely different side: I have always had this opinion that being respectful and understandable is a necessity when going to another country, especially when the country was poorer than mine. That it was crucial to adjust to what the locals expect from you. Indeed, this makes all travels easier in any case.
What this woman said however, is in some way also true. Read More »
Remember when I told you about the energetic place that attracted loads of expats to stay in the village of Samaipata? Of course we couldn’t skip these ruins. So a sunny and really hot Sunday morning we made our way to the historic place. It is a 10 km walk or taxi ride from the center of the village. As we had plenty of time on us we walked there, rewarded by the amazing views along the way.Read More »
You probably don’t even have to get out of your home town to meet most of the different kinds of travelers. There are selfie-tourists, the extremely culture-savvy tourists, the “hippies”, the luxury travelers, the nature adventurers. And a lot more. Especially Peru being a big destination for all kinds of people – rich and not so rich – we met a whole bunch of different people, some only spending a week escaping from their busy routines at home and others who are in their third (!) year of traveling the Americas. I think getting to know every single person inspired me and boyfriend so much and meeting new people, like-minded or not, is one of the best parts of traveling.
After all I noticed some conflicts or rather differences of opinion between the groups of travelers. Somehow, each group is looking down on the others in some form.Read More »
When we made our way to Cuevas we stopped a truck by the street that would take us with him to the nature reserve a few kilometers down the road. (Yep, it is like hitchhiking, but they will usually expect some money!) He was really interested in us and asked questions about where we were from, how much money we need for our travels, how much things cost in Europe, what the weather was like, and so on.
He also told us a lot about himself – he drove a truck from Potosí to Santa Cruz and back. It would take him a few days. His wife was back home in Potosí and had a small kiosk, she had to take care of. He said it was not possible for them to live off just of his salary, so she had to find something to do for her. He said people in Bolivia wouldn’t earn a lot of money, only those that went to school and would now sit in an office.Read More »
In Samaipata we were able to help out a Spanish family. I already talked about them before. They had two small but beautiful houses, one they lived in and the other one they were renting out. But their plans are much bigger. They want to build another, bigger house where they wanted to move into and then live off the rent of the other two and eventually from that money travel a little bit in South America. So we were happy to help. At the moment they are working on a small garden hut for their tools and to provide their volunteers a sleeping space upstairs. We helped to render that from the inside and out.Read More »
Amboró National Park is a huge park that stretches in the middle of Bolivia. To enter it is required to always have a certified guide with you and that can get quite expensive. We were really lucky to go with the friends of our hosts who gathered a group to go on a Saturday. Amboró is very close to Samaipata and it is famous for its diversity because again it is a mix of jungle, mountain ranges and lowland. All these landscapes meet there which grants you amazing views!Read More »
Located around 30 km from the village of Samaipata there is a little town called Cuevas which means “caves” in Spanish. Having a little nature reserve with the three famous waterfalls it attracts a bunch of tourists and locals. And now I definitely know why. As Cuevas is on a lower sea level and getting into the jungle, the weather is much more humid and therefore all the kinds of plants and animals are similar to those in the jungle. We saw several species of butterflies and other insects. One kind that caught my eye was a light blue butterfly with big wings that was really common throughout the park. Next to one waterfall I even ran into a green snake, and in shock I jumped into the water haha. But when we tried to look for it again, it already had escaped into a whole. So I guess we were both similarly scared of each other.Read More »
So much love for Samaipata! We spent their almost three weeks (!) enjoying the nicest climate and the rest of our time helping out a Spanish family with building a small garden shed. It sound like a great time and it was!Read More »
Most people might have not even heard of this place before, at least I haven’t before even entering Bolivia – Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It is with over 1.5 million people the biggest city of Bolivia and located in the East right before entering the jungle on either side but the West. The name means Holy Cross of the Mountains which doesn’t really make sense to me because it’s more a selva-place (jungle). It is a surprisingly modern city, clearly influenced by nearby Argentina and Brazil, and also serves as industrial hot spot of Bolivia. We haven’t really thought about visiting it but as we arrived with the night bus at 7 am it gave us plenty of time to stroll around in the center and just enjoy a relaxing Sunday there before continuing our trip.Read More »
Long-distance buses are essential for traveling South America. They’ll take you anywhere! It will take you a few hours, sometimes more, sometimes less, but you will get there eventually. Since we landed in Lima in the middle of January those buses were the only way we made it from A to B, not always comfortable but reasonably priced and (almost) always there when you need them. When you look at the continent of South America it might seem small because countries are so big and spread out. To take you from Lima to Cusco for example will take you around 22 hours and that being on a good road. So we’ve gotten pretty used to spending good amounts of time on buses and even came to like it. Everything that is under 6 hours actually seems to be a short time of traveling. Darn, that will be a big change coming back to Europe and realizing that everything is so close!Read More »